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LEGO Marvel Super Heroes PS4 review: with great power comes great playability

on 6 December 2013

LEGO and Marvel comics have a lot in common. Both were originally conceived as products for children, which then quickly outgrew that audience to become embraced by people of all ages. Consequently, LEGO and Marvel now enjoy worldwide popularity, so it’s only logical that these two established franchises should now come together to create one of the shining highlights of PlayStation 4’s launch.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is the latest action-adventure game from TT Games, and is available on the PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita. This review covers the PS4 version.

The game’s epic plot starts when the Silver Surfer crashes to Earth and his surfboard shatters into cosmic LEGO blocks which contain great power. A cadre of Marvel villains seek to gather them up for their own nefarious purposes so SHIELD joins forces with all the heroes of the Marvel universe to help prevent the cosmic bricks being used to forge Dr Doom’s Doom Ray of Doom.

The action begins with players taking on the role of various Marvel heroes tracking down the cosmic bricks that have scattered all over the Marvel universe. Players will find themselves searching the Fantastic Four’s HQ, the superhero prison known as the Raft and the otherworldly dimension of Asgard, to name just a few locations. Exploration involves players smashing their way through LEGO levels, building items to help them progress and solving puzzles before confronting that level’s evil Marvel villain.

Each LEGO hero has a different power that they can bring into play during a level. Strong heroes, like the Hulk, for example, are the only characters who can move large barriers, while psychics such as Jean Grey are capable of manipulating certain bricks and heroes, such as Thor, who wield the power of the storm, can charge electrical LEGO pieces. The challenge of a level isn’t just about getting to the end in one piece, and using the powers of the available heroes correctly, but also solving puzzles, finding collectables and performing other tasks, many of which can’t be completed until the relevant hero and level is unlocked after completing the mission for the first time. Doing so unlocks one of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes best features, free play.

Free play is one of the great strengths of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes as it allows you to re-play a level multiple times with whatever heroes you have unlocked. This means you can now try and find all of that level’s hidden bonuses. This feature, and the fact that the whole of LEGO New York is available to explore, means that even once the game’s story mode is complete there is plenty for the player to return to do.